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Americas Newsroom

News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.

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02:00:00

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San Francisco, CA, USA

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Virtual Ch. 760 (FOX NEWS HD)

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mpeg2video

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ac3

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720

TOPIC FREQUENCY

Benghazi 18, U.s. 17, Martha 15, Us 15, Clinton 13, Mexico 9, Boehner 7, Syria 7, Washington 6, John Boehner 6, United States 5, Inouye 5, Hollywood 5, Iran 5, Alabama 5, Nebraska 5, Hawaii 5, Sandy 4, America 4, Israel 4,
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  FOX News    Americas Newsroom    News/Business. Bill Hemmer, Martha  
   MacCallum. News coverage and discussion. New.  

    December 20, 2012
    6:00 - 8:00am PST  

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lthcare insurance company. like all standardized medicare supplement plans, they help cover some of the expenses medicare doesn't pay. ds in out-of-pocket costs. to find out more, request your free decision guide. call or go online today. after all, when you're going the distance, it's nice to have the experience and commitment to go along with you. keep dreaming. keep doing. go long. >> steve: join us for the friday "fox & friends," yesterday we showed that you dancing cop. he'll be in front of the building directing new york city traffic. >> brian: the winner of the x factor will be joining us live. if you have to run from the tv, run to the radio. steve, you'll be joining me, right? >> steve: i will. weather alert. serious trouble for millions of americans hoping to travel for the holiday. check out the storm system. it is powerful. moving through the central part of u.s., upper plains.
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blizzard and winter storm warnings for nebraska and great lakes. deep south tornado sirens blaring. mobile, alabama, roofs have been ripped off, trees topple. a powerful storm moves through there. a warning in effect in mobile, alabama. i'm bill hemmer. welcome to "america's newsroom". martha: why don't we get normal weather. always something extreme. it is causing delays and cancellations. they're trying to get home. going through chicago o'hare's airport the nation's second busiest airport. they're having a tough time. live screen left, you see minneapolis. screen right you see storm damage where it already went through in mobile, alabama. could be a rough couple days out there as the head -- storm heads our way, bill. >> meteorologist janice dean from the fox severe weather center.
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what do we need to know?, jd. >> blizzards and tornados. that is the theme of today's weather. tornado watch in effect until noon central time, portions of mississippi, louisiana, alabama and florida panhandle. many tornado warnings in around the mobile, in and around pensacola area and monroeville. we have a tornado warning around biloxi. that has been allowed to expire. we're seeing a lot of rotation on doppler radar and several tornado warnings throughout the morning. if you live in that area, listen to the weather radios to see if the alert is still on. up through the southeast, carolinas, certainly hail and damaging wind and yes, tornados. a blizzard, over a foot of snow reported in parts of these states. we'll see wind gusts in excess of 40, 50 miles an hour, making travel impossible. over two hour delays in chicago's o'hare airport.
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the dark blue here, that is where we have wind gusts in excess of 50 miles an hour. up through today., chicago tonight. detroit and system pushes up through canada. the cold front associated with it moving through the northeast tomorrow morning. we have a rough 24 do 36 hours then the system will be out of here. meantime, weather advisories. blizzard warnings continue. wind gusts in excess of 50 miles an hour in some cases and blowing snow meaning travel is really impossible on all of these interstates that you see. snow accumulation, six to 12, even 18 inches. the good news? we'll see a white christmas in all of these areas and across the intier kbror northeast as we get into the weekend. there is the future radar showing where the storm is going to go. the low will move into canada. the associated cold front pushing across the northeast. a lot of folks say they're traveling here in tomorrow. in the morning it will be the wet weather. winds clear out in the afternoon. it will be cold and we'll
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see the wind gusts. check ahead at all the airports. back to you, bill. bill: that is one busy map. >> that is a busy map. bill: we'll watch tornado warnings in the southeast, critical stuff. talk to you later janice. >> okay. martha: the bad news that this is causing a travel nightmare for people across the midwest. drivers in nebraska and iowa, told to stay off the roads in those areas. you have flight cancellations leaving thousands of air passengers stranded in cedar rapids, iowa. flight cancellations in the midwest could have a ripple effect, you know how that works across the country as holiday travelers try to get a grump on christmas plans to get where they go. bill: utah authorities blame a group of skiers for trigger being a avalanche in park city. the slide came down a ridge 200 feet wide with more than eight feet of snow on top of it. search and rescue crews responded after word one of them may have been trapped. turns out nobody is injured. skiers should know how dangerous the area can be.
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>> we have had fatalities in that square, a number of fatalities over the course of the last five to seven years. we constantly are trying to educate folks on the dangers of sking out of bounds but, you know, people often disregard that. bill: police also reminding skiers and snowboarders if you go out of bounds to background country areas, you are doing it at your own risk. martha: this fox news alert. the benghazi attack fallout. right now on capitol hill senators are grilling top state department officials following a blistering report that faulted management primarily at the state department for inadequate security at our american consulate and september the 11th. at least one state department staffer has been shown the door. a lot of folks are asking if that is token firing than something with much more far receiving issues. three others we're told could soon follow in terms of heads that may roll at
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the state department. bring in chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge live at capitol hill this morning. catherine, what are we expecting in this hearing today? >> reporter: good morning, martha and thank you. really a key piece not addressed in this report is the policy piece, the administration's piece. why was it the obama administration favored light security footprint in benghazi when it was clearly in conflict with the intelligence picture on the ground? there were 20 documented threats or incidents in benghazi prior to the 9/11 attack and we may get more visibility on that this morning from two secretary clinton deputies william burns and symptom mass nies. we heard from the democratic chairman of the committee, john kerry, the presumptive nominee for secretary of state. >> i know how deeply she feels the importance of the discussion that we're having today and i assure you it is not her choice she is not here today and she looks forward to appearing before the committee in january. i want to make that clear.
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>> reporter: secretary clinton has agreed to come up to capitol hill for a public hearings by the middle of january. she has also made available this full independent report called the accountability review board to the congress but it is worth noting that on at least two critical dates that first sunday after the 9/11 attack and the sunday talk shows, as well as this open testimony on capitol hill this week secretary clinton has been unavailable, martha, for various reasons. martha: indeed. and that's something she will no doubt be asked why that was. why she didn't want to be the front perp to speak out on all of this. we have the hearings today. we're just learning, catherine, there are very heated exchanges going on in these hearings. senator bob corker is involved with one of those. we'll play that for everybody in a little while. the big question after this, where does this investigation go. >> reporter: there are at least four tracks to this investigation. this is really the beginning of the second chapter. first and foremost is the
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testimony from secretary clinton expected now in the middle of january because only she can address this missing policy piece. why it was that we had this limited security footprint on the ground when it showed this rising threat from al qaeda and these other islamist groups? second is this justice department or criminal investigation. we heard from the head of the house intelligence committee yesterday, my knowledge rogers, that investigation is essentially nowhere. the third piece is the size, the depth and breadth of the cia operation and the fourth and perhaps foremost, are the quality of these warnings that our reporting at fox we were able to show there was an emergency meeting in benghazi one month before the attack that was passed on to headquarters here in washington and they actually foreshadowed the very way the four americans would die in coordinated assault by islamists, martha. martha: so disturbing. catherine, thank you very much. >> reporter: you're welcome. bill: one of the senators at the heart of all this is republican john barrasso. he is live a few moments from now to tell us three
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key questions he says the obama administration has to answer now more than three months after the attack. the senator coming up in a matter of moments. martha: in connecticut this morning it is another somber day of remembrance. there will be six wakes and five funerals that are scheduled for today for some of the 26 children and adults who were killed last friday at sandy hook elementary. look at these images. all the little angels set up around that town. today 6-year-old catherine hubbard, teacher anne-mariery murphy. teacher lauren russo. 6-year-old benjamin wheeler, 6-year-old allison wyatt will be laid to rest today. more on services ahead. others are scheduled for friday and saturday as this woeful week goes on. bill: it continues unfortunately. right about nine minutes past the hour now. we'll move to deadline quickly approaching.
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both parties hoping for an agreement to avoid going over fiscal cliff. president obama, house speaker john boehner are leaving door for more negotiations. if they do not reach an agreement, tax hikes affecting all americans and drastic spending cuts take effect. a house vote is set today for speaker boehner's plan b. senate democrats said it has no chance of passing on senate side. that is challenge. we'll get a live report what is happening with that in few moment. >> we have a brand new snapshot on the unemployment situation in the country. number of americans applying for unemployment benefits rising the first time in four weeks up 17,000, to seasonally adjusted 361,000 walked into unemployment offices around the country and filed for very first time out of a job and ready to collect. let's bring in stuart varney, the anchor of "varney & company" on the fox best network. stuart, good morning. what do you think of this number today.
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>> we're bumbling along. we're bumbling along, same ol' same ol'. we're repeating same pattern. economy looks okay in the middle. year and tails off toward the end of the year. we're 3 1/2 years after the end of a recession and we still have 361,000 people filing first time jobless claims. that means the layoff rate remains very high and the labor department says this one has nothing to do with hurricane sandy. they go on to say that retail this holiday period are not as strong as expected. same ol', same ol', a relatively weak economy, martha. martha: anecdotally it is not surprising. when you're out there you don't feel the same kind of rush and lots of bags. feels across the board if people are cooling back a little bit on the shopping. we'll see how numbers add that up. >> there is unusual indicator some people use, that would be shopping mall parking spaces. the shopping mall near my house you can get a parking
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space at 4:00 in the afternoon. that is not good. that is a sign of weakness. martha: stuart, quickly, gdp number upward in its revision. is that significant? >> that is the july through september period revised upward to a gain of 3.1%. that fits the pattern, around that time of year last four years the economy starts to improve a little bit. every year it tails back down again in november and early part of the new year. likely that is going to happen again. martha: we'll see. stuart, thank you. >> sure. martha: see you later eshgs we're just getting going on a thursday. there are new warnings on the fiscal cliff. what the tax chief says will happen to tens of millions of tax returns if there is no deal. that's real money. martha: a fiery and deadly chain-reaction crash. dozens of people were hurt. an update on the search for a cause of all of that. bill: what a scene that is. also outrage over the movie about the osama bin laden hunt. what three leading senators are demanding from the film-makers.
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i can tell you that childhood is a magical time. but for children with diabetes, life is not quite so carefree. the barbara davis center for childhood diabetes is fighting hard to find a cure. know the signs: irritability, excessive urination, weight loss. if you have any of these signs, please call your doctor. early detection can save your life. give to save lives and reach for the cure. call now or log on to childrensdiabetesfoundation.org. bill: this was getting heat ad moment ago enside the senate hearing room there on the benghazi report. we heard marco rubio during the break here, bob corker just before that, go back and forth with leading
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members from the department of state. droing here. >> june and august of 2011 regarding the security situation. to what level did that, those cables get reviewed? >> well they certainly would have been reviewed up through assistant secretary level. may have been some of my colleagues on the 7th floor saw them as well. >> where, beyond that level were any senior officials beyond the assistant secretary level made aware of repeated requests from the post for extended or additional security? in particular requests were made in march and july of 2011. do you know beyond the assistant secretary level were ever forwarded in a memo or some other written document? >> i'm not aware of any specific memo that went beyond the sixth floor with regard to those specific requests at that time, no, senator. >> do you know if anyone beyond the assistant secretary level going up to the secretary's level were they made aware more than 200 security incidents that occurred in benghazi in 13 months leading up to the
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attack? >> there were certainly memos that came up to the 7th floor that talked about the dedeteriorating security situation in eastern libya, yes. bill: republican senator john barrasso with me on the senate foreign relations committee. sir, good morning to you. we're watching and waiting to get more from this. the report wars certainly damning. you want to know three things from benghazi. what are they? >> i just walked out of the hearing. i wanted to talk to you about it. one is aimed at the president of the united states. he promised those who did this would be brought to justice. we continue to hear nothing about any success or efforts to identify the individuals and bring them to justice. the second thing really, how could we have put our people in harm's way the way we did? they continued to ask for additional security. it was denied. yesterday four people left the state department, resigned. you know you can't fire people in the state department for incompetence. only for willful negligence.
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are you able to fire someone. so that to me continues to be a concern. third, what lessons have we learned. bill: let me stop you on that one point. the lessons we learned is very critical. what we just heard based on the previous attacks in the area benghazi there were memos going to the department of state. does that suggest including hillary clinton, was aware of this? >> that's why i want hillary to still come and testify. she didn't show up today because of illness. i think it is imperative she comes to the senate and testifies in person, in public and on the record as secretary of state to answer key questions as to what was she doing that day. what did she know? when did she know it. did she know about requests that have been going on from benghazi and libya saying we need more help? was she involved in denying those requests. bill: senator kerry said earlier today she will testify in january. i imagine it will be public and we'll watch it together
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but you were talking about the lessons from benghazi? can you draw any now? >> well i think there are a number of lessons that we've learned. the question is, will they actually implement them. as senator corker was talking about earlier today there have been a number of reports about incidents through several different administrations and each time there are lessons learned but yet we don't implement those. we know that there were things that happened in benghazi that could have been prevented if they had only implemented lessons from previous attacks through the decades. so the state department has continued to fail at that. bill: some of those attacks took place in 1999. they were devastating too for americans embassies in tanzania and kenya. here is senator corker. >> we read the cables. you were fully aware and either you sent people there, with security or you don't send them there. i don't understand why you didn't send a notification
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out with a cables coming in, with concerns about security, why didn't you do just what you did with this arb, seeking additional funds? i don't understand. the appropriations committee never received from the state department a notification asking to shift fund for security in benghazi. bill: is there an answer for that yet that's sufficient? >> well, no. there was gross failure on the part of the state department. the question who is to blame there. we know four people lost their jobs yesterday. left their jobs. i still need to know more in terms of what the secretary knew, what she was doing the day of the attack as she was watching this. we've seen videos of looks like police just driving away. there was no video. there was no demonstration related to a video. we know what the administration has been saying afterwards was absolutely false and whether whether it was because of
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election and president saying al qaeda on the run when we know al qaeda-connected terrorist groups were growing stronger and using libya as a training area. bill: senator. plenty of questions. appreciate your time. back to the hearing. john barrasso on the hill. >> thanks, bill. bill: more updates on that when we get them. martha. martha: we know president obama has rom missed he will do everything in his power to curb gun violence. but how, how? that is the big question coming up. bill: these guys are having a good time. after all it is the holidays. why this cop is showing off new fancy footwork. martha: very nice. bill: you can catch the show at the local dunkin' donuts. and more. use to do that a long time ago. ♪ .
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bill: a marine answering the call to protect and defend children after the connecticut school shooting, has taken upon himself to stand in front of a california elementary school, hoping it will help the students there feel a bit safer. >> i'm going to stand here and stand strong because this is what i believe in. nothing will stop me from protecting these kids. what if it was my son in that classroom? what if it was my son and i was deployed? bill: he says he decided to do it after reading online post asking troops to stand guard at schools much the principal says he asked permission and did not leave from 7:30 in the morning until 2:30 in the afternoon. well-done, marine. martha: matt damon is known for making big hollywood blockbusters, in his new
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film, called, "promise land quote. he is using star power for another reason to bring attention to controversial practice of fracking. it led to boom of energy production. some say it leads to water pollution. critics of the film says it ignores safety practices used in fracking. john roberts live on the story from atlanta. good morning to you or the or the no end to controversy. "promised land quote opens nationwide on january 4th. they fear this could be to natural gas production what the "china syndrome" was to the nuclear power industry. it stars matt damon looking to line up leases in pennsylvania farm country and john as a environmental activist to try to stop him. >> i'm here my farm is gone. the land turned brown. it happened to one of us. it could happen to all of us. >> reporter: damon and chris since ski who co-wrote the
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script together, they're using fracking as jumping off point to explore american identity. >> it really asks more questions than it answers but they're important questions that i think we're all need to be asking right now. >> reporter: but conservative blogs like the heritage foundation say this move -- movie looks nothing on surface to be hit piece on tracking indisstri. analysts say this could be a big problem going forward. charles edwards with the brookings institution. >> someone like matt damon will make convincing actor, undoubtedly casting concerns about shale gas on the horizon. that will probably become a lot of people's perceptions that shale gas is not safe. >> reporter: now the industry acknowledges with any industrial production like shale gas there is environmental impact but that the risks to the environment, martha, can be minimalized if the practice is done responsibly and industry really says it is trying to do that. martha: well that is tough battle for them.
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what will they do about it, john? >> reporter: they have a low-key p.r. campaign, to say wait a minute, when you watch the movie it is telling one side of the story but they are prepared to ramp that up depending what the public response is. analysts say the industry can't come out and either dismiss the film orvillefy it. they really need to launch a comprehensive and thoughtful rebuttal if they want to try to keep people on their side to say natural gas is something we need going forward and according to them, this is very responsible way of getting it. keeping the prices low for consumers. martha? martha: very interesting. john, thank you. bill: all this may not matter because the mayan calendar ends tomorrow. where will we be? martha: stop christmas shopping. don't worry about the last-minute items. bill: there we go. we're keeping a close eye on the benghazi attacks. some fireworks in the hearing. we'll share some of that with you as it develops there on the hill. martha: yeah, a lot going on there. we'll go back to that a little bit. plus the looming fiscal cliff and one big way it
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bill: hold on for your tax drama. there is tax drama as lawmakers continue to debate how much americans should pay in the new year. the acting irs commissioner warns tens of millions of returns may not be filed on time if they do not come to a solution. doug luzader, what are they worrying about this morning. >> reporter: whatever congress does or doesn't do, really only a part of the equation here and this letter from the acting irs commissioner offers a pretty stark warning for congress if the debate over the fiscal cliff extend into
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next year, there could be some pretty big trouble. here's what he says. most taxpayers may not be able to file their 2012 tax returns until late in march of 2013, or perhaps even later. 80 to 100 million of the 150 million total returns expected to be filed may be unable to file. and here's why. this all comes down to the alternative minimum tax that was created back in 1969 to make sure the wealthy paid more. it was never indexed for inflation. every year congress goes through the deal where they have to create a temporary fix or it would cause a pretty big tax hike for millions of taxpayers. now the irs right now is assuming that the fix will be enacted as it always is. but if it isn't the irs can't just turn on a dime. their computers and forms would have to reflect changes in the law. that will take weeks or even months. and then, let's say there is a deal. next year, say in mid-january or something. the irs would still have to
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change everything back at that point. so you see how this gets complicated very, very quickly. bill: this is not the first time the irs has warned congress about this, right? >> reporter: no. really kind of an updated or expanded warning. in irs parlance you call this amended kind of filing. they initially thought it would affect about the 6 million taxpayers. now they amended that to include 80 to 100 million. we're not just talking about delays in your refupd check here although that would happen as well. this would mean millions of taxpayers would not be able to file because of the uncertainty. bill: december 20th. time's awasting. see you, doug. douglas luzader in washington. >> reporter: see you, bill. >> the fact this problem is complex can no longer be an excuse for doing nothing. the fact that we can't prevent every act of violence doesn't mean we can't steadily reduce the
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violence. and prevent the very worst violence. that's why i've asked the vice president to lead an effort that includes members of my cabinet and outside organizations to come up with a set of concrete proposals no later than january, proposals that i then intend to push without delay. martha: so that was yesterday. the president promising to follow up on what he talked about at the service in newtown after that shooting tragedy. there have been so many questions what we could do to prevent it from happening again. president obama says he wants concrete proposals on his desk that address gun violence and also we would imagine mental health issues as well as soon as possible. he says january is the deadline. so we'll be watching it very closely to see if the deadline is met. will he get anywhere with it? doug schoen, joins me with former advisor to president bill clinton and monica crowley, radio talk show
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host and both fox news contributors. good morning to both of you. monica, one of the big issues any in legislation or getting proposals passed will be the nra and whether or not they have changed their stance at all and whether they will support republican and democrat members who have been in. ra supporters. will they be supportive of them in voting for this kind of legislation if it gets there? >> i think it depends what the legislation ends up being, march that. the president gave a pretty sweeping mandate yesterday to the new task force being led by the vice president to look at, yes, new gun ons but also as you mention, mental health issues, school safety issues, and so on. it depends on what we end up with as the final product. the nra says they will do a press conference in pretty short order. they are going to start to address some of these issues. you're right to point out since the expiration of the assault weapons ban in 2004, the reason it hasn't been reinstituted is because not just because of republican
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opposition to it but because of a lot of democrats as well. now that is changing, especially after this connecticut tragedy. a lot of people who resisted this kind of thing in the past now are saying we have to take another look at this. so the political dynamics may be changing, mart. martha: it seems, apparent, doug, you have to two things. you have to make it a little more difficult for people in this young man's condition wherer clearly should not have had any access to any of these kinds of weapons so he can't get his hands on them. but also people like his mother who is very controversial character in all of this but we know that she was in a very difficult situation. she had a son on her hands she said she was losing control of and she was concerned about. so you got to do two things here, right, doug? >> i think you have to do more. you have to make sure people like this don't have guns. i mean we need an assault weapons ban. we need to get rid of the gun show exception.
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and we have to get rid of these multimagazine --. martha: you know what everybody says. well, last time we had an assault weapons ban it didn't really do anything. what was wrong with it? why there too many loopholes in it? we have to address what was wrong with it, why it didn't work last time? >> i think you need a multifaceted approach as you and martha, i'm sorry, monica were suggesting. we need mental health and better security in schools. i think it is absolutely clear we have too many guns and too many opportunities for people who shouldn't have guns to get them. and i hope that we can do something expeditiously on all the issues that you and monica raised. martha: in terms of mental health lots have been said about the lack of public institutions and help. the problem that a child has to commit a crime before they can be committed to an institution. in this case there is some discussion his mother was considering that. we heard from other mothers in similar situations they want that for their child.
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imagine how desperate a mother is they would like to have their child committed but there is no recourse for them unless their child committed a crime. will we see action on that, monica? >> we may because the president gave a very broad kind of mandate to this task force. i think there are a lot of parents out there, martha, who have children who they simply can not control. how heartbreaking is it to reach the point where they say i can no longer control my child. i need some external help here. i think when a tragedy like this happens, we have a tendency as a government, as a society to overreach, to overreact and maybe do the wrong thing. so i think, nothing should be done right now. i think we to find out more information about this particular context which is presumably what the president's task force is going to do, take a little bit of time here and try to sort things out. the gun control issue, look in this case, the gun control laws actually did kick in, martha. this kid went to try to buy some guns. he was turned down because he didn't want to go you
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there the background check. he didn't want the waiting period. so i think there is a place for reasonable gun control. i think, just don't want this tragedy to be leveraged into something that is wrong for the country and will not prevent this kind of thing in the future. martha: doug, last thought. >> this is a time for bipartisanship. i certainly hear that in monica's tone but we need to go with this objectively. i think gun control is a central part of it. look, mental health is central. school safety is central. we need to come up with comprehensive solutions on a bipartisan, nonpolitical basis. martha: we need leadership on it like nra and from folks who have broad experience in mental health felted. should not let go until we get somewhere. good to see you both. bill: sorry about hacking over here. martha: poor bill. bill: going around. martha: you need a break. bill: work through it. but i love vics dayqil.
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outstanding stuff. when you need to push through a couple hours of that is my recommendation. martha: vicks dayquill. bill: raising concerns about a hollywood movie over the capture and killing of usama bin laden. are they missing a point or have they a bigger point? chuck nash sounds off. martha: concern for this u.s. marine that served in afghanistan and iraq. now he finds himself in a notorious mexican prison. his family is desperate for help and they say they are not getting it from the white house. bill o'reilly will be here on "america's newsroom." he will tell us what the parents have told him on fox news. i'm curious when you look at that photo obviously as mother of two boys i can only imagine what it is like for you to see him in that condition, olivia? >> it was just stunning. i just can't totally wrap my
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>> i have bad news. i'm not ire friend. i'm not going to help you. i'm going to break you. any questions? bill: that from "zero dark thirty.", a film about the killing of usama bin laden. three u.s. senators have now sent a letter to sony pictures asking the filmmakers to state that the use of torture, as it is shown in the film is not based on fact. one of those senators, john mccain, who himself was tortured as a p.o.w. in vietnam. here is what he told greta last night. >> we showed our displeasure and they should acknowledge they were either given wrong information, they had a lot of access to the cia in fact one of their, there's an investigation going on about some of the information that they used.
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and clearly i think they got the slant of those who are defending, in my view, what is unconscionable, and that torturing people. bill: retired u.s. navy captain chuck nash, fox news military analyst and good morning to you. this letter, is, it's strong! this is hollywood. it concludes by saying please consider correcting the impression that the cia use of coercive interrogation techniques led to the operation against usama bin laden. did not. are they right or are we out there a little bit on this? >> i think we're engaged in the theater of the absurd, bill. we have real world problems and senators are concerned maybe hollywood got it wrong and overdramatizing something? real world damage is done when the vice president blurts out the name of a classified unit that conduct as real world operation when leaks come out of the highest levels of our national security team and wind up in books or "new
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york times" articles, that is the damage being done. that somebody might, you know forget they're sitting in a darkened theater eating popcorn watching a fantasy movie? yeah --. bill: producers even respond to this? >> no. i mean, the whole thing is really silly and it's below the level of the stature of these people and i don't even know why they're messing around with it. it is grandstanding. bill: this is what sony said on the screen now. the film shows that no single method was necessarily responsible for solving the manhunt nor can any single scene taken in isolation capture the totality of the efforts the film dramatizes. one more line here. one thing is clear the single greatest factor finding the world's most dangerous man was the hard work of intelligence professionals who spent years working on this global effort. mccain and feinstein's point is this. waterboarding did not give us the tip that led to the courier that ultimately
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found, captured and killed usama bin laden. do you agree with that or not? >> i don't care. i don't care. and i don't think most people care. in fact most people when they go into the movies and watch the bad guy getting something bad done to him, you know, they look at this as if it is almost violence fantasy which is pack oned out of most of hollywood products and, you look at the real world and you see guys like major hasan who three years ago, you know, jumped up, yelled "allahu akbar!" and killed 13 people and we haven't gotten him to trial because they figured out whether he should shave his beard off. one judge got fired. they say, against military regulations but you can keep your beard on and three years later we'll send you to trial. the world is upside down, bill. we have to get serious about the threats and start focusing on solving real problems and forget hollywood. bill: it is interesting because i can't remember a time where such distinguished senators have
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given so much attention to something that came out of hollywood. >> it is beyond me. bill: you were talking about hollywood hypocrisy with our producers a bit earlier. >> yeah. bill: what do you mean by that? >> if you look at what they package into most of their products, you know, some of it is really nice and everything but the people out there packaged this stuff and yet they're all about all the touchy-feely causes and things. it's just, doing one thing and talking a big game elsewhere, the whole thing, it is just hypocritical. bill: i assume that senator mccain will continue to talk about this because the movie is just slowly coming out right now and it will get a lot of attention. >> probably will. bill: but again, it's a movie. it is a movie! talk to you later. merry christmas. >> you bet, bill. bill: martha. martha: we've been talking about this as well this morning. there is a massive storm system that is stretching across the midwest right now. it could cause some big problems for millions of
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americans who just want to get home for the holidays. we've got the latest on the blizzard for you. a live report on that coming up. we'll be right back.
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bill: fox news alert. senator james inhofe. now these benghazi hearings wrapped up in the senate briefing room. they lasted about an hour and 50 minutes. here is one of the more critical questions asked during this hearing. it happened moments ago. >> somebody in the white house, because this report went to the situation room, someone in the white house changed the talking points from general petraeus and the cia before they were given to ambassador rice. i assume they were changed and that she was not aware of it or she was aware. that is not too pertinent. someone changed it. do either one of you guys
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know? do you care? >> senator, here's what i would say, what happened in benghazi was clearly a terrorist attack. secretary clinton the day after the attack said quite directly what happened in benghazi was an assault by heaviry armed militants on our compound. later that same day president obama spoke to an act of terror. what was not clear at that time was exactly which terrorists were involved, what their motives were, exactly how this came about, whether this had been planned well in advance or was more a target of opportunity. bill: so far now the fallout, four people in the department of state no longer have a job. secretary clinton is not testifying now. we expect her to testify in january for more on this. martha: no direct answer though to the question there. littleoming up on this with while. meantime there are new concerns about iran's involvement in syria's civil war. leaders in tehran have been accused shipping weapons to the assad regime. in a fox news exclusive we
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are now uncovering intelligence what iran may be receiving in exchange for what they are sending apparently to syria. leland vittert joins me now. he is live in jerusalem on this. good morning, leland. >> reporter: good morning, martha. tae run is now getting very sophisticated russian-made air defense systems. this totally changes the strategic map here in the middle east, not only between iran and israel but iran and united states. military planners have to totally rework any plans to attack iran's nuclear facilities. these air defensivelies are sophisticated enough to make an attack very difficult. assigned by russia to protect its military businesses and icbm facilities the s-300 is among the most sophisticated and at this aircraft system in the world. russia sold systems to syria largely to protect president assad's regime by attack from nato or israel. with syria falling into
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chaos and civil war desperate for men and equipment. for more than a year fox news exposed the clandestine resupply of syria's military by iran. using airliners and unregistered cargo plane seen here off-loading at syria military airports. u.s. intelligence forces confirm the planes are flying back to iran loaded with the s-300 missile system which iran tried to buy from russia but was denied. the s-300 would vastly upgrade iran air defense systems which are vulnerable to u.s. and israeli countermeasures. they don't include the significant profession by the s-300. israel and the united states pressured russia heavily not to sell these weapons to the iranians. the russians said they would not. unclear now what the russians are going to do now they figured out syria is sending these to iran. of course now here in israel
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and also in the united states these military planners have to rework all their plans based on the capability that iran will now have. clearly a game-changer here. martha? martha: yeah. boy, that is a huge and disturbing development. leland, thank you very much. bill: good reporting. the next hearing on libya happens in the house. that is set for later today. we'll analyze what we've heard so far with bret baier as lawmakers search for answers so far. martha: this is a live picture now of the coffin carrying hawaii senator daniel inouye as it is carried into the capitol where he will lie in state. a great honor for a man who was the original congressman when hawaii was made a state and spent all of the rest of those years serving in washington. we'll be right back. rol, how does it work? you just he to eat it as part of your heart healthy diet. step 1. eat the soup. all those veggies and beans, that's what may help lower your cholesterol and -- well that's easy [ male announcer ] progresso. you gotta taste this soup.
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martha: we start with this fox news alert. a memorial service for the late u.s. senator daniel inouye is beginning inside the rotunda of the u.s. capitol building right now.
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the beloved senator from hawaii lying in state, a great honor bestowed on this gentleman who was beloved by so many on capitol hill. you have congressional leaders and vice president biden who will make remarks and lay wreaths at the senator's casket. he was a world war ii veteran, 17-years-old when pearl harbor was bombed. the first american japanese representative on capitol hill, breaking that barrier with his election. the second longest serving senator in u.s. history, 88 years old. senator inouye died on monday. we will keep going back to there for you. in the meantime we want to bring you this. we are hours from a vote on a plan to avoid the fiscal cliff. house speaker john boehner expected to bring a republican plan to the house, to the florida, a plan that president obama has already threatened to veto. where do we go with that? a brand-new hour starts right
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now of "america's newsroom." glad to have you with us again, everybody i'm martha maccallum. stpho: i'm bill hemmer. speaker boehner defying the white house bringing what he calls a plan b to a vote, that is a back up plan to prevent a crush of tax hikes that go into effect for nearly every american if we go over the cliff now just 12, 13 days away. speaker boehner says he's confident the plan will pass the house. have a listen to that. >> the house will pass legislation to make permanent tax relief for nearly every american, 99.81% of the american people. then the president will have to decision to make, he can call on senate democrats to pass that bill, or he can be responsible for the largest tax increase in american history. >> there you have it. yesterday from john boehner. mike emanuel is with us live on capitol hill. mike, the speaker says that he will get it done, but this is a tough sell even with his own g.o.p. members, right?
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>> no question about that. they did get some cover from grover norquist from americans for tax reform who said it was okay to vote for plan b. a number of other conservative groups said republicans should not support plan b. they say essentially the u.s. economy is less than two weeks from going off the fiscal cliff. why they would love to have a plan a with president obama deal, essentially they had to be prepared with a back up plan. >> this is our good-faith effort, it's a proposal to keep taxes as low as possible for as many americans as possible. and we are putting that forward tomorrow. and i am optimistic that we will get the votes. >> the speaker of the house john boehner is due to talk to us in about three hours. then we expect the house will vote on this plan b, if you will, some time around 6:00pm this evening. although of course that could slide. martha: of course, it's obviously got some house democrats pretty disgruntled about the whole plan b opens.
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what are they saying, mike? >> essentially last night there was some preparation for these bills to come to the floor. the plan b, and also another bill that would have a number of spending cuts that republicans would support, and so the democrats were very frustrated by the process. take a listen to this. >> this is not the right way to do this. i think all my colleagues know this. this is shameful, this is unacceptable, this is indefensible, this is too serious to proceed this way, and i hope my colleagues reconsider before this. >> bottom line, house republicans say if it piece the house which they expect today, it puts a whole lot of pressure on senate democrats who they say have no back-up plan. martha: we'll be watching. thank you. bill: if we do not get a deal we will see across the board tax hikes. the lowest tax rate will increase from 10 to 15%. the top 35 to 40 per.
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the 2% payroll tax will also expire. and americans will see an average tax increase of more than $3,400. in a moment we'll talk to republican congresswoman marsha blackburn on speaker boehner's plan b. will she vote for it or not? the standoff in washington over how to avert the fiscal cliff. martha: if president obama and republicans and congress fail to reach a budget deal -pbl seniors coul, many seniors could see their medicare premiums go higher. they are paying very close attention to that. both sides agree to expand a little known law so morey tireees considered well off by the government are required to pay higher payments for premiums and proceed prescription coverage. about 5% of medicare beneficiaries pay higher premiums, that number could grow to 25% if the change goes through. the higher premiums would kick in for individuals making more h-pb $85,000 and couplethan
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$85,000. and couples making more than $130,000. >> five more victims of last friday's deadly massacre are being laid to rest. six-year-old catherine hubbard. annmarie murphy. benjamin wheeler and six-year-old allison wyatt. five of 26 lives the community is still trying to cope with that are now gone. >> we haven't had to look too far to find sadness and we are finding sadness again today. we've just got to keep going and stay strong and do everything we can, you know, the main concern is the children. >> we will stick together, we will get through this no matter what it takes. bill: peter doocy is live in newtown, connecticut. interest does not get better by the day, tkoeuts. >> reporter: no it doesn't: the service for the aid annmarie
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murphy that wrapped her arms around a special needs student before they were both killed on friday just started. cardinal timothy dolan will speak, it is the only victims through his dioceses an said he just wanted to pay his respects. reheard from annmarie's brother a few minutes ago. >> annmarie's families, the murphies, and the mcgowans, pray for all the families touched so terribly, that god may help these feelings of such great pain and grief pass quickly, and that they be replaced with only happy thoughts and joyous memories of those we have lost. thank you, god bless. >> derek jeter paid his respects to the mother of 27-year-old vickie soto whose favorite team was the yankees. we learned that from her sister carlie on twitter. vehicle's favorite song was "the
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sound of silence." paul simon actually performed that at a very emotional service yesterday, bill. bill: what are investigators saying about the evidence? what more have we learned that we can confirm? >> reporter: bill, it doesn't sound like the shooter, adam lanza left much of a digital fingerprint before he committed mass murder. investigators told the hard ford current that adam lanza's cellphone made and received very few calls. that paper is also reporting damage to lanza's computer so significant it will be hard for authorities to figure out who he was talking to, and if he ever posted any kind of a warning online. but authorities are not just looking for info on the lanzas, they are also trying to track down a con artist who set up a fake fun in the name of first-grader noah pozner buried on monday, and scams like that are making life so much more difficult for families six days
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ago found out they lost a first-grader or an educator. back to you. martha: let's get an update on what is going on with the weather system we are watching. it's a deadly storm ain't is just a few days from christmas. watching it sro closely as millions of americans right now are under blizzard warnings. it stretches 900 miles, from colorado to milwaukee, the nation's busiest airports may get hit very hard. that could strand a lot of travelers out there trying to get from here to there with their packages. folks preparing and hoping for the best. >> we got all our crews in place, getting all our equipment, making sure everything is working, checking all our checks and balances, making sure our equipment is on site ready to go, our staff is ready to go, we can't 0 have any break downs throughout the night as we go. martha: alicia ac u.n. a
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alicia acuna joins us live. >> three people have died due to heavy no on the roadway and slick conditions. a blizzard warning and 45-mile an hour weurpbdz expecte winds are expected in wisconsin. it is in the southeastern part of the state where the roads were so icy that the driver lost control killing himself and another. in utah a woman whose car became stuck in the snow tried to walk for help and rescue crews found her buried in the snow a few miles from her car. strong winds blowing in heavy snow also creating dangerous conditions throughout the midwest. in kansas city, missouri, traffic accidents are predicted to only be the beginning of the problems for the storm that is expected to reek havoc. the city says it is ready as long as folks stay off the road and they can get the snowplows out there. of course, martha, tomorrow marks the first day of winter. martha: boy, so what is all this expected to do in terms of people trying to go somewhere for the holidays?
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>> reporter: well, as you can imagine it's already starting to create a lot of headaches for travelers who are heading out onto the roads and into the already busy season. folks in iowa and nebraska who are hitting the roads are being told to either not drive at all or to go very slowly. and in iowa a lot of the airlines now have canceled many of the early-morning flights out of there -- i'm sorry, excuse me, omaha, nebraska. airlines also canceled evening flights coming into denver as well. the national weather service is calling for six to 11-inches of snow in some parts of nebraska as well. this is a system that started in the rocky mountains here. we were hit yesterday here in the denver area very hard. it has moved on from here but left a lot in its wake. there is a silver lining to all of this. of course, and that is a lot of children throughout the midwest will have a white christmas to look forward to. martha. martha: that is the good part. we wish everybody well out there as they try to get around and as it moves east. thank you.
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bill: we are watching the ceremony for senator daniel inouye on capitol hill. we want to drop back in there with senator harry reid. a tribute to his live 88 years. >> after being gravely wounded in italy inouye's arm was amputated. he spent 21 months recuperating from his wounds in an army hospital in michigan. during there he met a lifetime friend, future majority leader bob doyle, another young g. i. also wounded in the european theater. senator dole told senator inouye he bland to go to law school and eventually serve in congress. dan inouye what's elected to congress in 1959 as hawaii's first congressman. bob dole what's elected to congress a year later. senator inouye always joked, i went with the doyle plan and i beat him. three years later dan inouye
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what's elected to the senate and he's been a soft and powerful voice for the people of hawaii ever since. although senator inouye was an unabashed progressive democrat he always put his country first and his party second. dan was a vibrant and vital presence in the senate, and in death he will remain a legend. his last words on earth, aloha, and it's with a heavy heart that i and we bid aloha, goodbye, i love you to a friend and legend of the senate daniel kent inouye. bill: what a life. he died of respiratory complications at age of 88 on monday. what a life indeed. a tribute to the senator today. nicely done, senator reid. 13 past. martha: there is a hearing that has just wrapped up on capitol hill today, and it's an
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important one, about the libyan attack that killed four americans, including our u.s. ambassador. finally some tough questions have been put to senior state department diplomats, not hillary clinton as you know. she is expected to testify in january. but did we get any answers this morning that we've been waiting for? bret baier joins us on that. bill: new concerns about the fate and condition of this u.s. marine jailed in mexico, why his parents think his life is in danger. bill o'reilly is on the case, and bill o'reilly is here live. >> certainly they haven't come out and asked for his release and secretary of state hillary clinton hasn't said anything. >> no. >> right. >> they told us they can't do anything. >> is that right? ph ththe state department said they can't do anything? >> over and over. >> yeah. >> oh, that is a bunch of bull. [ male announcer ] more than a security system,
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martha: fox news alert out of our nation's capitol this morning, a hearing has just wrapped up on the libyan consulate attack that killed four americans. republican lawmakers grilled senior state department diplomats on the ambush and questioned their most recent report on what happened there. here is a bit of this hearing just a little while ago. it ended. and this is senator marco rubio. >> there is one part of it that -- i don't want to say concerned, i'm a little puzzled by. it places a lot of the blame on lower-level officials, particularly assistant secretary officials. i find that puzzling. benghazi is not a remote
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outpost, it's not lux evenburg. martha: very strong back and forth from senator corker, senator inhofe weighing in there. joining us is bret baier anchor of special report who has been all over this story. what do you make of this? how do you think it's gone so far? >> senators up there are trying to get answers from the two deputy secretaries who are testifying. they haven't, i think, had a lot of success getting a lot of details. there has been a lot of probing about where the cables went, whether they made it from the 6th floor to the 7th floor in the state department and just for everybody's knowledge, the 7th floor is the top floor where the secretary's office is, the 6th floor is kind of the lower level where the assistants kind of scurry around, deal with different levels. as far as placing the blame, just remember that after all of this kind of was bulb lin
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bubbling up and became an issue, secretary clinton before that foreign policy debate came out and said, i take full responsibility for benghazi. she hasn't talked really extensively about it, or answered questions extensively about it. and obviously she is not taking questions about it under oath up on capitol hill today. >> we heard her spokeswoman yesterday basically say, look you're going to hear from mr. nyds and from nicolas burns this morning and they are speaking on behalf of hillary clinton. should that be satisfactory? we understand that hillary clinton is going to testify in january. how different is the climate going to be in january in the middle of the inauguration and everything else, bret? >> right, i think there are senators up there who are concerned about that. they are senator kerry is saying that secretary clinton will testify in january. of course she won't be the secretary of state. and it may very well be senator kerry who is on his way to being
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secretary of state. we don't know that as of yet. but, remember, there will be a lot of turn over, there will be probably the inauguration underway, there will be nominations and a lot of things happening here that people may get a lot of different focus than benghazi. but, listen, we'll continue to cover it here. there are some information things that this report, it's 39 pages, the unclassified version. there was no demonstration prior to the assault. these are all things we have reported on fox many, many times. al-qaida is not dead throughout the region. al-qaida is really resurging in libya, especially eastern libya. the systemic failures in the senior levels of the state department when it came to security. administration relied on libyan militia to provide security there and that was a big mistake, and outside contractors. there were 20 security-related incidents right there at that consulate prior to this attack.
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as well, martha, quickly, the former chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mullen said that the military could not respond in time. there are today people saying -- looking at this report and the timing, they didn't know where ambassador stevens was for three and a half hours. at that time they didn't know he was dead. almost five hours they didn't know where he was. and there are people questioning whether somewhere, somehow some element of the u.s. military could have responded in that time. martha: yeah, a lot of questions remain, and as you say we'll stay on it. catherine herridge has been on it as well talking about why they would have encouraged a lighter fingerprint at the same time they were saying that they thought al-qaida's presence was growing in that area which doesn't seem to add up either. thank you we'll look for you tonight on "special report." bill: new details on how another gun from fast and furious wound up at another furnished scene.
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we are learning the gun found at the site of a shootout where this beauty queen was killed belonged to a top official at the atf, now what was going on there? martha: an extreme rage, oh, my god, look at this video, the man goes pwe berserk in the back of the police car, what set him off. >> he kicked the officer in the face. he was still resisting. he would not get inside the vehicle. he was tazed in the upper torso and then retracted his legs to allow them to place him inside the video.
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martha: this is a brand-new video out of florida. this man is literally breaking down in the back of a police car. oh, my god. this is hard to look at, folks. kicking and screaming, slamming his head 33-year-old angelo
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bochino was initially handcuffed for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. when he found out he was going to jail he lost it in the back of that car. the suspect kicked a police officer in the face, broke his nose. that is a bad scene. he was eventually tazered, and he faces a slew of charges. bad, bad situation. bill: that it will be. that shall leave a mark. martha: oh, yeah. bill: maybe a few of them. there are new developments now in the botched gun running sting fast and furious. investigators in mexico have reportedly linked a gun found at the site where this mexican beauty queen was killed, and now we are learning another gun recovered at the scene is linked to a former assistant special agent in charge of the atf in phoenix. what is going on here? william la jeunesse linking this together. tell the story, william what is up? >> reporter: it's a little bizarre. investigators want to know if the second man in charge of atf phoenix broke the law and ran guns to mexico. not just weapons that others
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bought illegally, but a gun that he bought. this story begins the day after thanksgiving when mexican police get in a shootout with the sinaloa cartel. they recover several weapons including a powerful belgian made semi-automatic traced back to the assistant in charge of atf phoenix. police trace a second weapon to the biggest buyer of guns in operation fast and furious. now investigators want to know, is this a coincidence? how does a gun belonging to the guy running the fast and furious investigation show up alongside a gun from his chief suspect at the same place, same day, same city, three years later after they are purchased a thousand miles away? >> why was the assistant in charge of that office buying guns in the first place? and that would raise a question,
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the extent that person might be involved in the gun trafficking that was going on and profiting from it. bill: okay. >> reporter: records show that gillette purchased his weapons at a phoenix gun store on the federal form used to buy the forms he used his office address twice and mislabeled the atf building an apartment. on another occasion he uses a strip mall as an address, contrary to the law which says buyers are required to use their residential address. we attempted to reach gillette through the atf and his attorney, he did not return his calls -rblg, but he did tell another media outlet, the gun in question he sold it on the internet. investigators are following up on that story today. bill: thank you. william la jeunesse on that story in los angeles. martha: we are waiting for a house vote on speaker john boehner's plan, known as plan b to avert the fiscal cliff. speaker boehner will bring that to the floor today. we'll speak to congresswoman marsha blackburn, we'll find out will she vote for it, coming up.
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bill: good question. he is back the dancing traffic cop and all of his best moves. check him out. go, guy. ♪ jingle bell, jenning he wil jingle bell rock. ♪ ♪
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bill: here we go on fox news alert. we are awaiting a vote in the house on speaker john boehner's plan b to avert the fiscal cliff. the republican plan allows the bush-era tax cuts to expire on those making more than a million dollars a year but keeps current tax rates for everyone else as they are. the president has threatened to veto. can boehner get the votes. march that blackburn, congresswoman out of tennessee with me now. will you vote in favor of this idea? >> we are not sure exactly how we are going to vote.
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i have to tell you something. bill: what are you going to do? >> let me tell you speaker boehner deserves a tremendous amount of credit for what he has done and has hung in there with that. i have to tell you i'm in that lean no gat torrey because i'm one of those people who wants tow see the spending cuts, and that's what my constituents are wanting to see. they are wanting to see spending cuts, and they are saying, look, we can't continue to give the president more money to spend. we have to be able to start range i raining reigning in this deficit and debt and show fiscal restraint, which is imperative. the people look at the deficit and look at who holds this debt and they are saying, come on mr. president, you come pained on you were going to cut the deficit in half, you haven't done it, that is not a promise that you've kept to the american people. you said you were going to get spending under control. instead you've accelerated it. you can't run these
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trillion-dollar deficits. it is time to lock at entitlement reform, time to look at stabilizing the trust funds, time to cut the discretionary spending. bill: what he is arguing yesterday is that he's met republicans more than halfway. >> i would say no. and let me tell you exactly why. members of the house have done their job. we have sent bills starting last may, finishing in september that would deal with the tax extenders for everybody, that would deal with a plan for tax reform, that would handle sequestration, and the defense cuts that are there. they are on harry reid's desk. now, if the president and harry reid wanted to be serious about this they could have taken those bills up in september. this is a crisis of their making. they wanted to push it down to the final minutes, and i think a lot of our constituents are looking at this and saying, you know what, we want them to begin
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to get serious about some of the spending cuts and putting this on a solid footing. bill: we've heard from a lot of republicans over the past couple of weeks, we haven't heard from democrats frankly, about what can pass in the houses specially on the senate side. come back to my original question. will you vote yes or no if plan b is on the floor? >> i am more likely to be a no vote, but with that said i do give our leadership a tremendous amount of credit in trying to work this through to completion. i think that the speaker in trying to negotiate with the president has given it a really great shot. the president is not willing to look at the spending side of the ledger, and that's what people are wanting to see stphaoeu understand th. bill: if plan b goes down and doesn't pass, what does that mean? >> i don't know exactly what that does mean. i don't know if there is a plan c, and i go back to saying, we've passed these bills, they are in the senate, they could have started keeping these bills
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working them, going to conference on this back in september. i mean, bill, those bills have been sitting there. the tax extender bill was passed august 1st. bill: now you're looking at a calendar that expires in eleven days. do you think, and i think this is the fundamental question that people want to know, are we going over the cliff, or will there be a deal? as of today what do you think. >> i do not know. i don't think anybody knows. i think if people knew the answer to that, bill, they would -- you know, you would be seeing some activity on that at this point. i do not think that any one knows the answer to that. we would have liked for the president, and for the leader, leader reid to focus on this earlier, and have prevented this from happening. they should have seen this coming. bill: that answer itself tells a lot. thank you for your time. march that blackburn, republican from tennessee.
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>> thank you. bill: have a merry christmas one way or another. >> you too, thank you. bill: thank you. martha: what about the spending cuts? will the two sides agree on any of them? doug mcelway is live in washington with the real break down on this. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, martha. it was over two years ago that the simpson-bowles commission appointed by president obama warned of the coming fiscal cliff if the united states didn't start balancing its checkbook a little bit better. >> i really believe we are at a critical juncture. we are borrowing 40-cents of every dollar that we spend in this country. our revenue as a share of of our national income is the lowest it's been in 60 years. our spending is the highest it's been in 60 years as a share of our national income. that is not sustainable. >> reporter: the commission recommended a $4 trillion reduction in spending over ten years. it was a start, in their words.
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fast forward to today, the various fiscal cliff proposals on the table fall far short of that, but even the minimal cuts the president has offered, less than a trillion dollars over ten years are not really cuts, at least not in the real world. that's because unlike any family, or any business, the government uses what is called base-line budgeting, it asserts that every year the federal budget will increase. so any proposed reductions are only a slowing of growth, they are not real cuts. >> this is not theoretical, this is not a khrat room exercise. you can look at european see what happens if we continue down this path very much longer. that is a place we don't want to go. >> reporter: why doesn't the federal government use zero-base budgeting that people in the real world use? >> the reason is because they are not responsible for raising the money the way the private sector does. they can actually go to taxpayers and say, pay up or go to jail. >> reporter: and there is another reason. every government expenditure represents some congressman or some interest group's pet
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project, some favored program back home. it's a truism, martha, that cutting an existing program in washington is almost impossible. martha: i don't think that sits well with a lot of folks who hear that. doug, thank you very much. we'll see where we go. bill: speaking of spending the u.s. mint is testing new medals to make coins cheaper. get this. a penny right now cost more than two pennys to make. a nickle is more than 10-cents to make. the tough job is finding a medal that won't change its size or look over time. there is no answer on that just yet. martha: it cost you two cents to buy a penny. we wonder what is going on with the fiscal situation. bill: we are all using plastic anyway so you can take those pennies and nickels and put them back on the shelf. martha: we have new video of this extreme weather going on out there sending a mountain side tumbling down on homes. we'll show you what triggered that. bill: there are breaking developments on efforts to free
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a marine veteran from a dangerous mexican prison. a new push to get the obama administration more involved, and bill o'reilly is next on these latest developments as the marine's parents, they say they have exhausted every option to get their son free. >> examine this case. this is wrong. and do the right thing. he should be released immediately. this was an administrative mistake. he is not a gun runner, and you know it. please release him. ♪ ♪ [ male announcer ] campbell's green bean casserole. it's amazing what soup can do
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bill: look for this to develop throughout the day. we are hearing the attorney general eric holder will go to newtown, connecticut today to meet with law enforcement officers up in new into and perhaps at the school there, sandy hook. this after he's had meetings with the vice president, and the president giving the announcement yesterday to figure out some answers, with a deadline set for january. today eric holder up to newtown,
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connecticut, watch that. martha: more on this. breaking developments in the efforts to free a u.s. marine veteran, a veteran of iraq and afghanistan who is pictured right here chained to a bed in a notorious mexican prison. now we've got word that a bipartisan group of 69 lawmakers, this group is led by florida republican congresswoman iliana ross leyton who they say has been the most helpful. they are urging the obama administration to exhaust all diplomatic options to try to get this young man, 27-years-old, john hammer back home in time for christmas. his parents were here live on "america's newsroom" yesterday. >> he didn't cross the border. he went to the border and filed paperwork on the u.s. side, and then they told him to proceed and he went to the mexican check-point and asked them what he needed to do. here is my paperwork. so for asking what you need to
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do, he's in prison. and we need our state department to be as aggressive as theirs has been for his safety, as theirs thr-s been defending nare judicial system, which has just been a sham at this point. martha: seems like a pretty reasonable request, right? the question is why aren't they getting anywhere with all of this. fox news' bill o'reilly has been following this story from the very beginning. he is the host of the o'reilly factor and the author of the book "killing kennedy" bill good morning. >> hey, martha. martha: what do you think of this letter, is that encouraging? >> where are the others? why didn't everybody in congress sign the letter. 69 of them signed them. where are the others? their hand sprained? i mean this is really, really, as i said last night on the factor, a disgusting story on a lot of different levels. number one, the president of the united states should have made a public statement saying, this is unacceptable. where is president obama? he doesn't have time to do that? as i said last night in the
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talking points memo, abraham lincoln did that every week. in the middle of the civil war when things were going bad for the north he still took time to right wrongs on an individual basis. mr. obama can't do that? where is secretary of state clinton? is she unconscious or something? where is she? these people can rally public opinion and make the mexican government act. obama and clinton could do that, but so far in public they haven't. behind the scenes, maybe, could be, possible, but then jay carney tellsed henry our white house guy, oh i don't know anything about it. martha: which was very odd. one would hope that the answer to that question is, oh, there are all kinds of things going on behind the scenes. but the family doesn't seem to believe that, do they? >> well they haven't heard anything. the president hasn't called the family. look, here is the travesty of this. let's just get right down to it, okay? and i'm talking to obama
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supporters right now, to people who love the man. we have a combat veteran here, iraq, fallujah, who comes back to the united states with pros traumatic stress disorder. goes through a nine-month program, wants to take a vacation in costa rica, wants to bring an antique gun handed down to him by his grandfather, that was a mistake, you don't take anything into mexico. all right, mexico is a corrupt nation. he's passing through mexico to get down to coast tariq kafplt he checks in with the u.s. border authorities in brownsville, they say fine here is the paperwork, walk it across, they'll stamp it for you and you can go. they see the paperwork, all right, looks at the guy, sees the gun, arrests the guy. why did they do that? because they wanted to extort money from his family. that is what they do in mexico. it's a corrupt country. period. martha: he shouldn't have brought the gun in the first place.
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it seems a fairly small infraction given as his dad points out what is going on there. we are getting all kinds of tweets and emails this. people say we should withhold aid to mexico. >> absolutely. we are giving them 330 million this year alone. all president obama has to say and i wouldn't say it publicly if i was him, to this new guy, nieto, the new president, behind the scenes is look, i want this guy out by friday, all right, and we'll make you a hero, president nieto, you release him, you are the good guy, if he's not out by friday, i'm sorry, there is going to be a slow down in the money coming over, and not only that -- martha: on the mexican side they are saying they are trying to crackdown on corruption in their jail system and they don't want to be scene as releasing somebody before they go through the process. if the president steps in and releases him the people will have an outcry, this judge is corrupt, this american gets to go. my brother, my krous inch i my
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cousin is being held as well and he should be freed as well. >> if their cousin served in fallujah then they could think about it. this guy is unjustly imprisoned. we all know it. he didn't try to smuggle in anything. he tried to do it the right way. this is corruption and if mexico continues they have to be punished. martha: why -- the consulate says they have been in touch with him, they are making s oka. they released him from that restraining device. >> he's been in prison since august, since august on this bogus charge. it's now december. i don't care if the state department or the mexican officials have been in touch with him. he should be out. christmas is tuesday. this is so outrageous it's off the charts. martha: have you got even any feedback from the white house on this. bill? >> no, they are not going to give me any feedback, because i expect that he's going to be released, because if he isn't,
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i'm calling for a national boycott of mexico. no one goes, and the airlines stop flying there. that's what should happen, and i'll get behind that, and we'll organize it, like we did with france a decade ago when they supported saddam hussein. and believe me mexico will suffer, because a lot of americans feel the way i do, that this cannot stand. but i'm more upset about secretary clinton and president obama. if they are going to be ponchus pilate and wash their hands, they are going to have a problem with me. the president is the commander-in-chief. this is one of your guys. you have the power to get him out, mr. obama. get him out. martha: his family is obviously very worried about him. he has post-traumatic stress disorder. he has been through a program, he was trying to take some time off. we hope they hear your pleas on this bill. i know you'll stay on it as
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ferociously as you always do and we'll stay on it as well. thank you bill. bill: sometimes the public pressure makes a difference. jenna lee rolls our way in ten minutes. what is happening, jenna. jenna: as both republicans and democrats conduct this dramatic public theater on taxes and spending and the fiscal cliff is either side really addressing the root problems facing the country? one of of the most respected economists will join us on that. maybe they need the help from this guy. the efl on th efl on the shelf. we'll tell but a success story in the midst of a recession. will there be lights or not. something that might leave some of you in the dark, ahead on "happening now."
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bill: now to an inspiring christmas story emerging from
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the destruction of super storm sand deal. douglas kennedy is here on that today. how are you doing. >> reporter: good morning, bill. hurricane sandy destroyed hroeufs and homes olives and homes on the east coast but it could not destroy christmas spirit at this church on staten island. ♪ [singing] note. >> for years the oasis christian center has been a gathering place for the residents of midland beach on staten island. the church has been the center of the community for years. >> since we planted the church eight years ago we've done our best to roach our community through god's love with food pantry and childrens programs, youth programs as well as our sunday services. >> then in october hurricane sandy hit, shocking life-time residents like oasis pastor pheupl mcentire. >> we never expected a hurricane like this here in new york. the devastation was absolutely incredible. >> midland beach was one of the
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hardest hit areas in the country. tragically nine residents of midland beach lost their lives and dozens of families here still remain homeless. mcentire saw his church the very next day and he says he didn't think it would ever open its doors again, much less for christmas mass. describe the damage. >> it was absolute devastation. the church was devastated. the lower level of the church was totally underwater. everything down there destroyed. >> destruction and tragedy mcentire said quickly turned to hope when he began to get calls from community members volunteering to rebuild. contractors like carmen. >> i'm basically giving my time, any time i can help anybody that needs anything in a time of needy love to do that. >> mcentire says the church has once again become a community oasis, bringing people in need together with love and support. >> you're going to be able to celebrate christmas here? >> yes, we will. that is our plan. >> what does that mean to you?
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>> it means a whole lot. after all we've been through the suffering, and the hard work to get us back to this place we are looking forward to it very much. >> looking forward he says to the most meaningful christmas mass, bill, he has ever celebrated. bill: wow, well done, and well stated. thank you, douglas. douglas kennedy on that. martha. martha: it's the busiest day of the year today for ups. an estimated 28 million deliveries have those guys in the brown shorts, i guess they wear pants this time of year. how do they do it, bill. bill: and a brown coat. martha: that's right. (announcer) when subaru owners look in the mirror, they see more than themselves. so we celebrate our year-end with the "share the love" event. get a great deal on a new subaru
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